Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Create A Brand


I'm often asked by readers of this blog the best (and fastest!) way to make money. I usually respond with the same answer; you can either buy brands or create them, but making money in either situation takes time and patience. Fast money is nice, but it also has consequences; repeatability is called into question, greater risk, and higher taxes on short-term gains are all concerns. Many young investors don't have adequate seed capital to purchase meaningful quantities of shares to help launch their financial farms early in their careers and find themselves in a quandary. How best to pursue creating wealth without seed capital? It is truly difficult to see a global stock rally and not participate in it, but fear not loyal blog readers, all is NOT lost!

One of the most important lessons is that to profit from growth, you need to be in the game in one form or another. That means securing some type of equity position, which generally leads to two choices for someone who wants to Invest Like A Farmer; purchase positions in real estate, bonds, or (preferably) equities OR go about creating your own brand. Many successful financial farmers do both.

What is a brand? It is the (ideally) trademarked name and/or logo of a product or service (or both) which immediately calls to mind what that product or service is when the brand is mentioned (termed a metonymy.)

Why is a brand important? A brand selectively targets a consumer for its product or service, and generally speaking, a branded product is typically sold at a greater premium than a generic product or service which in all actuality maybe nearly identical to the branded product. The successfully branded product, however, has established a greater perceived utility than a generic product and consequently charges a higher price for the good or service. The better the brand, the greater the implied prestige and usually the higher the margin, profits, and market share. Couple this with mass appeal and you may have a winner on your hands.

Assets come in a variety of forms; from physical assets like farmland, gold, and oil to legal assets including shares of stock, debt instruments such as bonds, and intellectual property including trademarks, copyrights, and brands themselves. The prudent financial farmer is always looking to cultivate quality assets on his or her financial farm; if buying a brand isn't feasible, consider creating one.